Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Mission 4/1 Earth?
ONE UNITED CHURCH on a shared resurrection witness for Planet Earth during 50 great days of greening up, powering down, and shouting out for the environment! “Mission 4/1 Earth: 50 Great Days” is about boldly living Jesus’ let-your-light-shine proclamation in the Sermon on the Mount: “That they may see your good works!” It is an opportunity to live out our faith — in unity, as one church — for the sake of our fragile planet Earth.
2. When is Mission 4/1 Earth?
Mission 4/1 Earth launches Easter Monday, April 1, 2013, and continues through Pentecost, May 19, 2013 –– the 50 days of Eastertide.
3. What are the goals of Mission 4/1 Earth?
There are three goals:
A. Collectively offer more than ONE MILLION HOURS of engaged earth care, including clean up, advocacy, education, and behavioral changes that will impact the environment.
B. Collectively plant more than 100,000 TREES locally and globally in partnership with the National Arbor Day Foundation and the UCC’s denominational partners around the world.
C. Collectively write/send more than 100,000 ADVOCACY LETTERS on environmental concerns to elected officials and local and national newspapers.
4. Why the environment?
God's creation is groaning under the burden of injustice, greed, and arrogance. Our choices have resulted in vanishing and degraded farmland, air unfit to breathe and water unfit to drink, unsustainable energy processes and consumption, and the perilous immediate and long-term worldwide consequences of global warming and climate change. Poor communities and communities of color are disproportionately suffering the unjust consequences of our choices. And now, we realize more every day that our choices threaten the voiceless natural systems that sustain life itself.
When confronted with environmental responsibility, people of faith face a choice: to live in despair or to live with hope. We in the United Church of Christ are called to live with hope. We are called to spiritual and lifestyle transformation based on justice and reverence for all of God's creatures and creation. We are called by Jesus to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. With God's grace, through Mission 4/1 Earth, we are inviting individuals, churches, schools, camps and human service agencies to be transformed into people and places of hope and restorative justice.
Mission 4/1 Earth is an opportunity to examine and change our patterns of behavior and to deepen our understanding and engagement of earth care and environmental justice in the process. While it’s only 50 days, this all-church mission intensive will be a concerted effort, through thousands of small and big steps, toward ensuring a greener future for planet earth and a greener faith for us as followers of Jesus Christ.
5. But 1 million hours? How do we do that??
One million hours of active earth care is one BIG goal, and surpassing that impressive goal is going to take a concerted effort on the part of every UCC person. However, it’s doable! The important thing to remember is that there is NO one way to contribute active earth-care hours, but it will involve intentionality as individuals and as a congregation. Here are some suggestions:
A. Ride a bike, carpool or use public transportation instead of driving alone in a car.
B. Read a book or watch a documentary about the environment.
C. Plant and tend an organic garden – all that weeding and watering time adds up quickly!
D. Prepare a sermon, lead a Bible study, plan or attend an earth-care-focused worship service.
E. Write advocacy letters (which counts in time AND in letters sent!).
F. Install energy-efficient light bulbs or appliances.
G. Attend an Earth Day rally.
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